Lynne Strong's award-winning approach to sustainable dairy farming proves a business can go green and grow at the same time.
Ms Strong's Jamberoo farm, Clover Hill, won the inaugural Bob Hawke Landcare Award this week for her efforts in sustainable agriculture.
Ms Strong said the family started on the sustainable path about 10 years ago when her son wanted to return to the farm.
"The business at that time, while it was sustainable for one person, certainly wouldn't have supported two," she said.
"That meant we had to ... double the size of it."
The family had to do that without buying more land, instead learning how to get the most out of the land they already had.
Today Ms Strong said the sustainable approach had enabled her business to grow 500 per cent compared with where it was a decade ago.
"It turns out what's good for the environment is good for the business - and it's good for the cows," she said.
"These days we have even less impact on the environment than we did 10 years ago, even though we're grazing three times as many cows per hectare.
"We're also doing things like milking three times a day, which reduces your greenhouse gas emissions per litre of milk produced by 30 per cent."
Other practices include gravity-fed water troughs, tree plantings for shade for the cows and retaining good pasture cover to both feed the cows and reduce run-off in heavy rains.
Ms Strong said the Clover Hill approach could easily be adopted by other farmers.
"We don't do anything on our farm that 90 per cent of Australian farmers couldn't do," she said.
"Really we're no different to any other farmer. What sets us apart is going out and finding that expertise and realising that those people are experts in what they do and having 100 per cent faith in them.
"It's not silver-bullet messages, it's not magic potions. It's recognised farming practices that are driven by the need to produce more food using less resources, and whatever waste you generate you recycle that back into your landscape."
To ensure the message of sustainable agriculture gets out there Ms Strong is part of a national group of farmers called the Climate Champions.
"What the research has shown is that nine out of 10 farmers learn from other farmers. So what we do right across Australia is use every opportunity we can to engage with our fellow farmers and share our success stories - stories of where we've gone well - as well as where we've stuffed up," she said.
"We weren't perfect either and it does take a leap of faith sometimes, but it is worth it."